Praying With Fillings? Become Maliki?
Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
I have very recently learned through reading “The Endless Bliss” (published by Hizmet Books) about the issue of Hanafis “imitating another Madhhab” under special circumstances. My circumstances are that I got two of my teeth filled last year without knowing any better and without any pain, difficulty, etc; I just listed to what the dentist prescribed. My understanding is that now I need to “imitate” the Maliki Madhhab with regards to Fara’idh and Mufsid of Namaz, Wudu, and Ghusl.
When new issues come up, major scholars are needed who have expertise in the madhhab, its rulings and methodology.
Imam Ashraf Ali al-Tahanawi was one of the very greatest Hanafi faqihs of the 20th Century. A read through his brilliant 6-volume fatwa collection, in Urdu, Imdad al-Fatawa, would explain why.
In the first volume, he discusses the issue of tooth fillings, and other similar situations where it is either extremely difficult or impossible to make the water reach the areas that need to be washed (such as in the case of fillings). After presenting textual proofs from the school to back his point, he answers that in such cases because of the undue hardship involved, it is no longer required to wash such areas.
Therefore, the ghusl of someone with tooth fillings is valid in the Hanafi school, without any shadow of doubt.
As an aside, there are many strange fiqhi rulings (and poor translation) in Endless Bliss. I would not advise taking fiqh from it.